Bangsamoro gov't says 3-year election postponement enough for peace, development


Posted at Nov 01 2021 05:02 PM

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The Bangsamoro government said on Monday the 3-year postponement of the Muslim-led region's supposed first elections in 2022 would be enough time to bring about peace and development to the southern area. 

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority had sought to defer the region's polls after the COVID-19 crisis delayed aspects of its agreement with government, including the decommissioning of former rebels, said Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo. 

"Sufficient enough iyong 3 years po para makumpleto natin iyong implementation ng peace agreement at saka maging matatag na rin iyong pundasyon noong gobyerno ng Bangsamoro," he said in a televised public briefing. 

(Three years is sufficient to complete the implementation of the peace agreement and strengthen the foundation of the Bangsamoro government.) 

"Sa amin hong palagay ay sapat na ho iyong panahon na 3 taon para ho talagang maayos na natin ang peace and development dito sa ating rehiyon," added the official. 

(In our opinion, those 3 years will be enough for us to put in order the peace and development here in our region.)

President Rodrigo Duterte last week signed a law postponing the Bangsamoro elections to 2025. 

The BTA "shall continue as the interim government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," reads the law. 

However, it said the President may appoint 80 new interim leaders of the BTA "who shall serve up to June 30, 2025, or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified." 

Duterte, the first President from Mindanao, had promised the creation of the Muslim-led Bangsamoro region in the lead-up to the 2016 elections. Halfway through his 6-year term, Duterte delivered on this vow that was hoped to end decades of violence in the south.

The law that created the Bangsamoro, signed in July 2018, was the product of a peace deal between the MILF and the administration of the late Benigno Aquino III 4 years prior.